località Lenzuolo Bianco, 9
«Good wine, like clear water must be chased up to the source, not to the outpouring». If we didn’t know this sentence is signed by a winemaker, we could mistaken it for one of the thesis with whom Martin Lutero, half a millennium ago, made a breach into Catholicism.
The prophet of “wine protestansism” is Josko Gravner, a man who left the Italian wine-region of Collio on the way to the Caucasus, that he considers the cradle of vine, “the source”. He found out that in Georgia there are hundred kinds of native vines, mostly white, and that here they have been making wine from grapes for 5 thousand years, letting them macerate inside huge clay recipes almost buried to the neck on the ground, a process of regained natural osmosis between earth and grapes but most of all «a device – he loves to tell – that fully respects biological balances because it doesn’t make us of filtration, clarification, artificial yeasts, enzymes or chips. Only a bit of sulphur, but there must be a reason why all winemakers have been using it for 2 thousand years. Therefore, there’s nothing to worry about that».
In his Oslavia headquarter, he built a “cellar” with several amphora buried on the ground. A very catchy and evocative place. Soon after the harvest, grapes (with skins) are dropped inside the amphora. After a maceration process lasting 6-7 months, wine is transferred into big barrels (made by Garbellotto) where it remains for about 3 years. In total, 48 months, «the time required to grow up an adult». And the taste? Right, the wine-taste. After the first harvest in 2001, as sommelier took a look at the strange color of his Ribolla and Breg(blend of sauvignon, chardonnay, pinot gris and riesling), they used to flee away in disdain. Fear of the unknown. Today, the same ones worship him.
There’s one thing for sure: «Amphora amplify the features of wine, his defects especially. That’s why you can’t bluff with them». Now we prefer to skip tasting adjectives and after-tasting notes. We just recommend one rule: we go through sublime experiences only if we abandon prejudices. And yes, to drink these inexpressible wines is indeed a sublime experience. That involves more and more followers. Just like Lutero was followed by Calvin, Zwingli.
born in Milan, 1973, freelance journalist, coordinator of Identità Golose World restaurant guidebook since 2007, he is a contributor for several magazines and teaches History of gastronomy and Culinary global trends into universities and institutes.
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Carlo Petrini, aka Carlin, born in Bra (Cuneo), 71 on June 22nd. On December 9th 1989 he founded the international Slow Food movement
All the Giovani Stelle, the young star awards given by the 2020 Guida ai Ristoranti di Identità Golose, presented yesterday at Terrazza Gallia in Milan